G LOBAL TRADE IS GOING THROUGH A difficult period. The US's economic relations with China, its diplomatic struggle with Russia, Brexit, the debates in the EU countries, all of them cause various risks in world trade. But despite all the difficulties, our exports continue to make us happy and to support our economy. As a new record of exports shattered in the first quarter of the year, more than 80 thousand companies currently work with the strength in order to reach $ 200 billion by the end of the year, and we try to open their way as TİM and Exporters' Associations.
With the completion of local elections last month, we went into a new era. Our people reflected a strong sense of national will, through keeping to own and claim democracy. First of all, we hope that the results will be beneficial both for our country and our nation. Now we have a non-elective period of 4.5 years. We read this process as a period of rapid economic reform. In the context of the Sustainability and Innovation Year, which we have announced as TIM, we will continue our record with the same determination for the welfare, growth and employment of our country.
New steps will be taken in taxation, financial structure and supply chain architecture. In this period, our economy management will implement reforms that will strengthen our claim and ability in global competition and enable new models and policies in tax, finance, production, employment and growth. Public administration will focus more on exporters in terms of managing costs.
On the other hand, we consider the targets of Minister of Treasury and Finance, Berat Albayrak within the scope of the New Economy Program as a road map with a brand new architecture that will cover our economy in 360 degrees. We take the fact that the support to exports and employment will continue to increase as a gospel from the exporters' point of view.
Strengthening the capital of the state banks, the transition to an understanding that precedes the taxpayer in the field of tax and the changes in the legal aspects of the trade are among the most important issues... As the reforms are implemented, the country's economy will get way stronger. As expressed by the Minister; Our exports will be in a whole new phase by being provided more incentives for localization and exports of value added products. The export family welcomed this new road map with excitement and enthusiasm.
One of the most important points we put a great deal of emphasis is the Turkish Trade Centers (TTC) project. Thanks to the TTCs operating in the critical cities of the global economy, many different sectors keep holding the upper hand regarding the competition in the markets. TTCs, supported by the Ministry of Trade and led by TİM, enable our companies to be represented in many sectors from ready-to-wear to ceramics. The informatics sector has a special importance in the goal of increasing the high value added product exports, set by our country. In this sense, TTCs, which support informatics companies in London and Dubai to market, will enable us to make a difference in exports.
Our exporters also continue to invest in design, through the search of added value. Our Associations, which organize design competitions from automotive to textile, from ready-to-wear to natural stone and from plastic to furniture, create a great awareness for the future of our sectors and enable us to discover young talents of the industry.
We always believe the fact that our future is bright. Our country is strong and our young population has a great potential, even if we have hard times from time to time. In the upcoming period, we should leave the political debates aside and focus on the economy and exports, more. While our state has paved the way for exporters with structural reforms; as exporters and industrialists, we should continue to walk towards large targets by investing more in innovation, design and R&D.